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Adjectives and Adverbs


Adjectives: An adjective describes a noun. In the sentence, Ann is a careful driver, careful describes driver. See the examples below.

. My hometown is small and quiet. Small and quiet in the sentence describe my hometown.

. The teacher asked an easy question. Easy here describes the question.

Adverbs: An adverb describes the action of a verb. In the sentence, John drives fast, fast describes the action of the verb drives. See the examples below.

. Anna pronounces every word clearly. Clearly describes how Anna pronounces every word.

. My brother speaks English fluently. Fluently describes how my brother speaks English.


How to Form Adverbs?

. Most adverbs are formed by adding –ly to an adjective. See the table below.

            Adjective                                Adverb

            careful                                      carefully

            slow                                         slowly

            quick                                        quickly

            dangerous                                 dangerously

            beautiful                                    beautifully

. When the adjective ends in –y, change –y to –i before adding –ly.

            Adjective                                Adverb

            easy                                         easily

            happy                                       happily

            noisy                                        noisily

. The adjective from and the adverb form are the same for fast, hard, early, late.

            Adjective                                Adverb

            fast                                           fast

            hard                                         hard

            early                                         early

            late                                           late

. The adverb is completely different from the adjective.

            Adjective                                Adverb

            good                                        well


Exercise: Complete the sentences by using the adjective or adverb.

quiet, quietly                 1. Mr. Wilson whispered. He spoke --------------.

careless, carelessly        2. Boris makes a lot of mistakes when he writes. He is a ------------ writer.

careless, carelessly        3. Boris writes -----------------.

good, well                    4. Your English is very ----------------.

correct, correctly          5. Carmen gave the --------------- answer to the question


Making Comparisons of Adjectives and Adverbs:

When we make comparisons, we compare two or more people or things. There are several ways to make comparisons.

1. Comparisons with … -er than

We use the pattern adjective or adverb + -er than to form comparisons of most one-syllable adjectives and adverbs.

One-syllable adjectives and adverbs                        comparatives

            old                                                                   older than

            cheap                                                               cheaper than

            fast                                                                   faster than

            hard                                                                 harder than

            small                                                                 smaller than

            big                                                                    bigger than

Read the following examples:

  1. Noura is older than Sara.
  2. This market is cheaper than the others.
  3. You drive faster than my brother does.
  4. English is harder than Arabic.
  5. The living room is bigger than the kitchen.

2. Comparisons with more … than

We use the pattern more + adjective or adverb + than to make comparisons of most adjectives and adverbs that have two or more syllables.

Adjectives and adverbs with two or more syllables             comparatives

            expensive                                                                                 more expensive than

            important                                                                                  more important than

            interesting                                                                                 more interesting than

            carefully                                                                                    more carefully than

            fluently                                                                          more fluently than

            comfortable                                                                           more comfortable than                                                                            

Read the following examples:

  1. This restaurant is more expensive than the other restaurant.
  2. Breakfast is more important than dinner.
  3. This book is more interesting than that book.
  4. He drives more carefully than his brother does.
  5. My sister speaks English more fluently than I do.


3. Comparisons of adjectives and adverbs that end in –y

Adjectives and adverbs that end in –y                                              comparatives

            pretty                                                                                       prettier than

            easy                                                                                         easier than

            early                                                                                         earlier than

            noisy                                                                                        noisier than

4. Comparisons with as … as

We can also use the pattern as + adjective or adverb + as to make comparisons. In this structure, affirmative sentences compare things that are the same in some way. Negative sentences compare things that are different in some way.

Read the affirmative sentences:

  1. You are as busy as I am.
  2. Noura is as tall as her brother.
  3. This dress is as pretty as that one.
  4. You write as neatly as I do.

Read the negative sentences below:

  1. Ahmed is not as old as Ali.
  2. This book is not as expensive as that book.
  3. You do not type as rapidly as I do.
  4. My brother does not work as hard as my father does.
  5. My child does not sleep as well as your child does.

5. Comparisons with less … than

We use the pattern less + adjective or adverb + than to form comparisons. Less is the opposite of more. Less is used with adjectives or adverbs that have two or more syllables.

See the examples below:

  1. A pencil is less expensive than a pen.
  2. This chair is less comfortable than that chair.
  3. Brown rice cooks less quickly than white rice.


Irregular Forms of Comparisons:

                        comparatives          superlatives

(adj.) good       better than        the best

(adv.) well        better than       the best

(adj.) bad         worse than        the worst

(adv.) badly      worse than        the worst


  1. Ahmed is a good builder.
  2. Ali is a better builder than Ahmed is.     (comparative of the adjective: good)
  3. Faisal is the best builder of all.   (superlative of the adjective: good)
  4. You speak English well.
  5. Your sister speaks English better than you do.   (comparative of the adverb: well)
  6. Your brother speaks English the best of all.       (superlative of the adverb: well)
  7. Sara is a bad child.
  8. Noura is worse than Sara is.     (comparative of the adjective: bad)
  9. Mona is the worst of all.            (superlative of the adjective: bad)


The Superlative:

The superlative compares three or more things or people. To form the superlative, we use two patterns.

With one-syllable adjectives or adverbs we use the pattern the + adjective or adverb+ -est at the end of the word. With adjectives or adverbs that have two or more syllables, we use the pattern the most + adjective or adverb (of all).

1. One syllable adjectives and adverbs

Adjective or Adverb               Comparative                           Superlative

old                                           older than                                 the oldest

hard                                         harder than                               the hardest

small                                         smaller than                              the smallest

big                                            bigger than                                the biggest

Adjectives and adverbs with two or more syllables

important                                  more important than                  the most important       

expensive                                 more expensive than                 the most expensive

fluently                          more fluently than                      the most fluently

slowly                                       more slowly than                       the most slowly

Notice the examples below:

  1. Karen drives more carefully than her brother does.
  2. Peter drives the most carefully of the three.
  3. Noura is older than Sara is.
  4. Reem is the oldest of all.

Read again the superlative of the irregular forms: good, well, bad, and badly found on the previous page.           








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